Braces are orthodontic appliances that you need to treat with care. While sturdy, it still means that eating foods that are gentle on the brackets and wires that hold your braces together and in place is important. Generally, avoid all foods that are sticky, hard, or chewy. Soft foods are most recommended for those who wear braces because they are simply easier on your mouth hardware.
Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces
- Hard taco shells
- Sticky and hard candy
- Corn chips
- Hard cookies or crackers
- Sticky or hard chocolate
- Caramel and gooey chocolate bars
- Very sticky or chunky peanut butter
Use caution when eating:
- Chewy bread such as bagels – tear into small pieces
- Chips – eat them carefully and one at a time
- Corn on the cob – cut off the cob
- Apples and carrots – cut into small pieces
- Soda and sugary drinks – avoid these whenever possible, as drinking too much can cause tooth decay
Also avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth. Such as:
- Raw vegetables
- French/Italian bread
- Hard rolls
- Thin crust pizza
- Sub sandwiches
- Corn on the cob
Finally, don't chew on any hard items such as ice, pens, pencils, or fingernails.
- Remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This helps prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Don't put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy sweets), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy).
- Make sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
Cleaning Between Teeth with Braces
Having wires that connect your braces from tooth to tooth makes flossing a challenge. But it can be done. Using Oral-B Super Floss, a floss threader (to get under the wires) or another interdental cleaner will help. Just ask us during your appointment and we’ll be happy to recommend our favorites!